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BY: Hal Boedeker / Orlando Sentinel / Dec 9, 2014
"I didn't think he had that kind of energy. Seriously," Black says. "He's sitting on a stool. Who would think he could get off a couch and walk across a room?"
Black hasn't worked that line into his "The Rant Is Due" tour, but he might when he plays the Peabody Daytona Beach at 8 p.m. Friday.
Fans can expect "the kind of fun, loving, Christian comedy I've come to be known for," he says sarcastically.
Black, 66, says pretty much everything is wrong and compares his generation to the dinosaurs. How did we get to this point?
"Generations are raised by parents to be equipped to live in the kind of times they lived through. Those aren't the times we live in."
He is perplexed by this development in a country noted for business savvy. He sees no hope from politicians.
"These people are appalling," he says. "I think Obama acts like the quarterback for the Washington football team. He's good on the run, when he has to pass on the move. Put him in the pocket, and he doesn't get it. He was great running for president."
On tour, Black talks about "the most extraordinary lack of leadership I've seen in my life: Congress, the president, the Supreme Court." He says the court could be replaced by a Magic 8 Ball and dismisses some justices as bizarre. "Nobody knows what they'll come back with," he adds.
Black says his tour is going well, and he is trying to figure out what his next special will be. He advocates for travel outside the country after touring Europe. "We have spent too much time looking at our own navels and thinking that will solve the world's problems," he says.
He doesn't think race relations are worse. "There's always been an underbelly. It has to be worked out," he says. "It was the same thing with the gay community. Five, 10 years ago, I was yelling, ‚ÄòIf people knew the person next door was gay, it would make a huge difference.' Gay was strange to them."
Black says his appearances on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" have been huge for his career. "They took me from club comic to theater comic and Comedy Central," he says. "I didn't break until I was 50."
Now he tours 150 days a year. His play, the farce "One Slight Hitch," has been published and will be performed in Fort Myers and St. Petersburg. He gives voice to an 11-year-old girl's anger in the new Pixar film "Inside Out." "From what I've seen, I'm stunned. It's an amazing piece of work," Black says.
Black made headlines by paying tribute to friend Robin Williams, then ripping Rush Limbaugh's commentary on Williams.
Black explains why he didn't go on television to talk about Williams after the comedian's death. "When George Carlin passed away, I went on. I met George a couple of times. He had been hugely instrumental in making my career. When it comes to comics, he'd say, 'l like Lewis.' It's the best advertising I could have from someone I'm following in his footsteps. I knew Robin, I would call him a friend, I didn't want to go on TV when I'm emotionally involved. I wanted to step back and not put myself in that light of media. I wanted to just write it on my own.
"Robin's death really got to me," Black says. "I saw what he [Limbaugh] said. I thought, for somebody who did drugs, this is unbelievable. Mr. OxyContin." [In 2003, Limbaugh acknowledged addiction to pain medication that he said began after spinal surgery.] "I've always been appalled by him," Black adds. "He started by calling it entertainment. It was never entertainment. He solidified it into political commentary, the inflammatory nature I always found disturbing."